Permanent Future Institute
Melissa Miles, M.S., AOLCP, Director, Senior Designer/Lead Teacher 

Melissa  is an Environmental Biologist/Conservation Planner, Permaculture  Designer/Teacher, a PA Certified Master Composter and a NOFA Accredited  Organic Land Care Professional. Melissa holds an A.S. in Animal Science,  a B.S. in Environmental Biology and an M.S. in Green Building. She has  been serving as Organizer for the Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture  Guild for the past six years and is a Permaculture Mentor for Gaia  University’s International Diploma in Permaculture Design program.  Melissa teaches and lectures at several institutions in the region,  including Longwood Gardens and the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris  Arboretum.Melissa is currently pursuing a PhD in Eco-village Design.

Colorado Aquaponics​
The Aquaponic Source

JD Sawyer

JD  Sawyer is the founder of Colorado Aquaponics, and as of the fall of  2015, is also the co-owner of TheAquaponic Source with his wife  Tawnya. Since 2009 JD has been building and operating aquaponic systems  while also providing education for schools and communities throughout  Colorado and beyond. Prior to starting Colorado Aquaponics, he spent  eight years as the Director of Operations at Johnson & Wales  University. JD authored and implemented campus master plans, oversaw  multiple departments and managed over forty million dollars of capital  improvement projects. He is now applying his skills in project  management, facilities, operations, education and financial planning to  create sustainable food production systems for families and communities  worldwide. Through extensive research, training and work experience, JD  has built comprehensive business models and system designs to help  demonstrate the financial viability as well as identify the risks  involved with commercial aquaponic farming. In 2012 he was the chair of  the annual Aquaponics Association conference and continued to serve on  the advisory board until 2014. He is also a lead instructor in the  highly acclaimed aquaponic farming course, a four day intensive course  taught at three different aquaponic farms around the country.

JD  and Tawnya also created and still manage a 3,200sqft hybrid aquaponics  farm called Flourish Farm in partnership with the GrowHaus which is  located in an urban north east Denver community classified as a food  desert. The hybrid approach utilizes media beds, deep water culture and  vertical growing towers in an integrated system to provide a wide range  of produce options. There are three main fish tanks housing tilapia and  hybrid striped bass providing nutrient rich water for the plants. A  single pump recirculates the water while gravity does most of the work  moving water the fish tanks to the main production growing environment.  The farm produces over 20,000 lbs of produce annually donating a portion  to the local community while selling the remaining produce to local  restaurants and markets that are all within a 5 mile radius of the farm.  The farm has proven to be self sustaining financially and is one of the  longest running urban aquaponic farms in the United States.